Monthly Archives: November 2007

Flip 4 Mac wmv files in my windows powerpoint

After many a day pulling my hair out this is what finally solved my problem. The wmv created on the mac capture machine using flip for mac would only show up as a black screen when I inserted them into powerpoint, even though they would play fine on in the Windows Media Player.

Here’s the site the gave me the answer and I copy the text that solved the issue: http://www.playsforcertain.com/

I
get a Black or White screen with no video but the sound plays:

This is usually caused by having too long of a
path to the video. Move the presentation and video to a folder with
a shorter path. Example: “C:\test”. Delete the video
from the slide and re-insert it. You may also need to reduce your
video hardware acceleration. To do so; right click anywhere on your
desktop and select Properties. This opens the display dialog pane.
Click the Settings tab, and then the Advanced button. Now click
the Troubleshooting tab. You are presented with a slider to adjust
the level of acceleration. Move it one “notch” to the left and click
OK. Try the the presentation again and if you are still having
problems follow the above steps and move the slider to the left
another “notch”. Repeat as needed.

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Snapz Pro X

Over the past week and a half I’ve been experimenting extensively with the Snapz Pro X application. My ultimate goal was to create a video document to instruct WordPress users on how to embed Quicktime files into WordPress. However, during this process I encountered some difficulties with using Snapz Pro X. As I am a new user of the application its controls were somewhat of a puzzle to figure out. To create the movie clip for the tutorial, I finally figured out that I had to click tab to remove the initial Snapz Pro X window and then double click the application to start recording the clip. After spending a couple of days familiarizing myself with the Snapz Pro X controls and preparing for the final cut of the tutorial I finally recorded my first tutorial for ITG. On the other hand, I feel that the process of recording the tutorial would have been much easier if there were some kind of tutorial or instructional document on how to use Snapz Pro X. In addition, after filming the tutorial I was shocked to find out that Snapz Pro X compressed the recording directly into a quicktime movie format. Perhaps the process would also be more effective if the clip could be exported to iMovie and then edited and fine tuned. Not only would such an ability reduce the time it takes to produce a tutorial, but the clip itself would be much more professional and perhaps viewer friendly. If there is some function on Snapz Pro X which allows the user to export a recorded clip to iMovie then I have yet to discover it, but I am open to all suggestions. With regards to the Embedding a Quicktime clip into WordPress tutorial, the Word document and the clip should be posted within the next couple of days.

Update on .wmv conversions

So in my last post I kind of lied – though I didn’t mean to. The .dv to .wmv conversion is not quite as easy as I made it sound. If you just need a conversion to .wmv from imovie, it is that easy. However, Pam found that when putting a .wmv into a older version of Powerpoint on a PC the files would not play, due to a codec issue. What that issue is exactly, we are still trying to work out, but we found that a newer version of Powerpoint on a PC played the files fine. So more on the codec issue if we can figure something out – maybe some help from Joe would be in order here? He seems to be the king of all codecs. Or, we could just solve the whole problem if everyone got a mac.

.dv to .wmv conversion

Having recently completed a project that involved using Flip4Mac to convert digital video clips (.dv) into Windows Movie Player files – I found that the following settings resulted in the best, most manageable files.

1. Choose the “Share” menu, and go down to the bottom of the menu and click “Share.”
2. In the next menu, make sure “Quicktime” is selected at the top, and pull the drop down menu next to “compress movie for” to “expert settings.”
3. Click “share” at the bottom.
4. On the next menu, name your file, and on the drop down menu next to “export,” choose “movie to windows media” (you will need a program like Flip4Mac installed to have this option), on the menu below, next to “use” select “One Pass VBR, presentation (high).”
5. Click save and wait.

This will result in a 640×480, fairly sharp movie file that is only around 10 MB per minute of movie. For Windows users, especially with an older machine, this will allow them to easily use a movie clip in a PowerPoint presentation without causing problems with freezing and choppy playback. Also, in general, this setting allows one to post a movie online for Windows users who may not desire to go through all the updates, etc. necessary for using Quicktime on a PC.

On a trivia note, VBR means “variable bit rate” and allows for a better quality to space ratio. One can also choose CBR, which is “constant bit rate,” and for a PC or other type of computer that has very old players, CBR encoding might be necessary – but most modern players will deal with both VBR and CBR with no difficulty. VBR takes a greater length of time to encode, as it allows for higher bit rate compression on the more complex portions (lots of colors, motion, or even sound) and lower on the less complex portions (fade to black, stationary subjects, silence).

Snapz Pro X Experiment

Exporting TutorialI spent today attempting to make some Snapz Pro X tutorials – and this is the outcome. I couldn’t figure out how to make nifty pictures and titles pop up like Anthony’s, but I recorded a voiceover with the built-in utility in Snapz Pro X. A note on trying to import the .mov files that Snapz creates into iMovie – it does not work. iMovie imports all files in DV format, and when the files that Snapz creates go into DV format, most wording is blurry to the point that it is unreadable (not that the above example has readable text). I made the tutorial about exporting because many at the self-service station have had the most difficulty with that step.